Never knowingly undersolved.

FT 12,931/Falcon – Non-Darwinian Evolution

Posted by smiffy on November 21st, 2008


Another early upload online for the puzzle (thanks Messrs Editor/Webmaster) allows me the opportunity to blog promptly again this week.  Nothing particularly byzantine here – other than my lack of familiarity with Mel Torme – and the theme is readily apparent, with only the Northern Territory and Tasmania missing a name-check.

1 B,RIS(BAN)E – Prohibition in Australia? That’ll be the day……
5 ASTH,MA – (hat’s)*.
13 ULTRA – hidden
14 PA(EL)LA – “Parisienne” to denote the female version of the definite article is a neat flourish.
15 S(TORME)D – Mel Torme (bestowed with the nickname The Velvet Fog!?) was a jazz singer of some renown. He had never previously permeated my sphere of consciousness.
20 NEEDLE – double def’n
24 LOVES,TORY – A movie that is anything but “blue”, so this is a kind of anti-&lit!
25 HARD TIM(E)S – [house]E in (mist)*. Perhaps there was an opportunity to layer in a Tiny Tim reference here too?
26 A,PR,ON – as in those peripheral parts of airport runways, where my flights always seem to loiter while waiting for a take-off slot.
27 S(A,H)ARA
28 ADULTERY – (true lady)*

1 BRAISE – homophone of brays
2 I,N(THEM)AIN – “Scottish town – right away” = Nairn -r. Anyone else remember The Hairy Nairn of Nairn?
3 BORDER LEICESTER – ref Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester.
4 NICOSIA – (casino I)*
6 SET OUT ONES STALL – double def’n, literally and figuratively.
7 H,A,BIT – a concise &lit
9  ANANAS – Ananias -i
17 S(COT,C)HES – Steady on! Sounds like this could lead to 28A….
19 A,F(L)AME
20 NO(VISA)D – Homer’s being the proverbial “nod” in this context.
21 SY,DNEY – S[-ex]Y + D[-is]NEY

10 Responses to “FT 12,931/Falcon – Non-Darwinian Evolution”

  1. Uncle Yap says:

    Thank you Smiffy, I also miss Darwin, where I spent a few weeks years ago

    24A deserves to be called the clue of the day (Cyclops of Private Eye will surely agree with me :-)

    20D Novi Sad is a Serbian port. Can someone please explain the word play ; insertion of VISA (travel document) in ….

  2. Geoff Moss says:

    20d nod – to make a careless mistake through inattention (Chambers)

  3. Rufus says:

    At last I can enlighten Uncle Yap on something, rather than the other way around!
    Homer occasionally made small errors in his works forgetting parts of his early story in its sequence or character progression. This was referred to as “Homer nodding” and any such lapse of continuity is known as a “Homeric nod”. Surprised not to find it in Chambers under “Homeric” though.

  4. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    But that is already indicated in the blog. And smiffy even glances at the proverbial expression “Even Homer nods”.

    So I don’t understand Uncle Yap’s intention in making the query.

  5. Rufus says:

    Sorry Geoff, you pipped me to the post-ing. You must have a different edition of Chambers!

  6. Geoff Moss says:

    The definition I gave is in both the 11th Ed. and the one published in 1998. There is no reference to Homer though.

  7. Uncle Yap says:

    Rishi, on certain days like today, I can be very dense and not see what smiffy wrote
    but thanks to Geoff and Rufus, I am now slightly smarter (homeric nod)

  8. C.G. Rishikesh says:

    That definition is even in the 1993 edition. I guess it must be even in the earlier issues as well. I am unable to check as I have discarded the earlier ones.

    Rufus must have alluded to the fact that under Homer/Homeric there is no mention of the famous or the infamous ‘nod’.

  9. Eileen says:

    ‘Sometimes even the noble Homer nods’ is a quotation from the Roman poet Horace’s Ars Poetica [The Art of Poetry], meaning that even the best of us have our off-days, so we can all take heart.

  10. Geoff Moss says:

    Thank you Rufus and Eileen. I was aware of the ‘make a mistake’ meaning of ‘nod’ from previous crosswords but I had never heard of it in relation to Homer so I am glad that you took the time to explain the origin.

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